There's no shortage of travel blogs, or those about adventure, beauty and finance. However, there's always room for more. That's the beauty of blogging: you can be you and someone will likely read it. But how do you set yourself apart from the other niche blogs?
Who Are you? Finding Your Voice
In the previous post, we discussed defining your target audience. However, you need to define yourself. What makes your point of view interesting? How will readers recognize your writing? Is there something about you that others can identify with? Questions to ask yourself include:
Finding your writing style or "voice" is a process. Are you going to be controversial and edgy? Authoritative? Are you going to be funny or sarcastic? Perhaps you want to be inspirational and encouraging. This writing style will develop as you keep blogging. Sometimes you may not be completely satisfied with a post you've written, or you want to go back and change something. This is actually a positive thing to do for SEO and great for your blog readers. Once you get to know your audience, definitely go back to those early blogs and stylize them according to your voice.
Don't get stuck thinking you have to know everything about your writing style right up front. For example, being over 50 we figured that most of our audience might be that age too. But it turns out, that's not the case. So we had to adjust some of our early blogs to better relate to our readers. The most important thing is that you're authentic. You're honest. You write and share content to help your blog audience meet their goals.
Your Blog Logo
If you study the most successful online brands, you can see they have a logo and consistently use the same colors and fonts. Remember that some fonts do not load quickly so choose carefully. We ran into this and had to modify the use of Google Fonts. Find a style that reflects you and build your brand around it. This includes images of yourself and, yes, you should include them. We certainly are not glamorous people, so we know how difficult this can be. But real people are reading your blog and will want to get to know you. You can style your photos based on the identity questions above.
What colors do you want? Once you decide on a color palette, you can start having some fun using Canva or other online creative app. If you have the budget, have a graphic designer make you a unique logo. They can create an entire branding guide for you with fonts, colors, your logo variations and brand ethos (your brand's goals, mission an values). You don't have to get that complicated but it's a good exercise when launching a blog or business.
Create a Strong About Page
One of the most important things you can do for your blog, your brand, and search engine optimization is to have a strong "About Us" page. What does a strong page include?
Find Your Blog Posting Rhythm
In addition to your writing style, you should consider a blog posting format. This will be how your posts are consistently presented. It helps your readers know what to expect. With each visit to your blog, they will know what they're getting and hopefully will want to come back. You want everything to be easy for them. Section headings are great for SEO and can be used in every blog post. In general, this is our practice. Our readers know they're going to find the same helpful sections at TruckThatBeach.com. Information on beach sand, beach water, beach parking, beach amenities and activities. They will find out what they should avoid too. We do that for every single Florida beach post. It's easy for our readers to make decisions about their Florida vacation travel or their beach day trips. For beach truck information and Florida travel tips we write other types of posts that are free-form to mix it up
Become a Trusted Expert
It goes without saying that your posts should be interesting, informative or educational and have links to other sites or sections of your blog that can provide them with more help. You want to make their lives easier within your blogging niche. Establish yourself as an expert in your "about" section and continue to let your readers know why you are the authority that they need. For example, we live in Florida, have been here for several years and have visited over 25 beaches. We've lived on both the Gulf coast and east coast. We've traveled many of Florida's highways and backroads so we feel competent being experts on beaches in the sunshine state. If we lived in Alaska, not so much!
With your blogging, keep demonstrating that what you post will help your readers. At the end of the day, you can have a great logo and great site theme, but if you're not providing authentic, honest, real helpful information, then people are not going to come back. But if you do, your blog will grow and become more than a hobby. It'll become a passion and it could become a business. It will take some time, maybe even a few years. But if you love it, and you give people what they want, they will keep coming back. Find your voice and share it with others!